9.04.2010

Antivaccinationist Misinformation and Conflicts of Interest Make Me Swear Out Loud, Too

Ask Kim recently highlighted, not every one with concerns about vaccines should be labeled an "antivaccinationist." And some people have solid reasons not to vaccinate (compromised immunity, etc).

But people who believe the willfully perpetrated misinformation spread by antivaccinationists and let that inform their decisions about vaccinations? That, as Penn and Teller declared in their recent documentary on autism, vaccines, and alternative autism treatments, is Bullshit!

If you know someone who's still on the fence, have them watch this video. P&T capsulize and fatally skewer major autism myths in less than 30 minutes, demonstrating that:
  • Vaccines protect our kids, critically -- a modern luxury that should not be taken for granted. If you're crunched for time, watch the first two minutes for a stellar depiction as to why vaccinations are so important, regardless of autism concerns.
  • There is no link between autism and vaccines, and yes, scientists have investigated the matter thoroughly.
  • Vaccines are not Big Pharma cash cows. But -- ooh irony -- the alternative autism treatment industry is quite the golden goose.
  • There is more mercury in a tuna sandwich than there was in an entire lifetime's worth of vaccines -- but the mercury in the vaccine preservative Thimerosal was removed from scheduled vaccines years ago [and anyhow it was ethylmercury, not methylmercury -SR].
  • Andrew Wakefield played a very large role in the decline of vaccination rates, and he deserved to have his medical license pulled for shoddy work that harmed children (which he laughed about - on camera).
(Note: peppery profanity plus brief nudity near the end, so, NSFW. Also, click directly on the video's arrow or you'll be redirected.)


I am three weeks behind on everything, so for deeper and more timely takes on P&T's exposé, see Respectful Insolence and Bad Astronomy.

---

Appended 9.6, originally as a comment:

I have to admit, I felt sorry for the two featured antivaccinationist parents -- but they smeared themselves with their own ignorance. Freaked out about ingredients in vaccines? How about researching the reasons why those ingredients are incorporated, and comparing them to those in other over the counter meds? Etc.

Unfortunately, antivaccinationsts are usually not rational thinkers or synthesizers -- qualities necessary to engage in this debate and be taken seriously (P&T qualify; that they set their evidence in a NSFW context is irrelevant). Antivaxxer activists are jackdaw superficialists. Loud ones.

Note: we need to point out group antivax  shortcomings and falsehoods, but it is rarely productive to engage antivaxxers individually. They are interested in spin and agenda, not dialogue -- and certainly not facts.

7 comments:

  1. Hell yeah! Nuff said.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OOOOOH, I want to see that P&T episode! I REALLY want to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Seriously? How did I miss this Penn & Teller show? This is amazing and voices my feelings about the subject.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have to admit, I felt sorry for the two featured antivaccinationist parents -- but they smeared themselves with their own ignorance. Freaked out about ingredients in vaccines? How about researching the reasons why those ingredients are incorporated, and comparing them to those in other over the counter meds? Etc.

    Unfortunately, antivaccinationsts are usually not rational thinkers or synthesizers -- qualities necessary to engage in this debate and be taken seriously (P&T qualify; that they also set their evidence in a NSFW context is irrelevant). Antivaxxer activists are jackdaw superficialists. Loud ones.

    Note: we need to point out group antivax shortcomings and falsehhoods, but it is rarely productive to engage antivaxxers individually. They are interested in spin and agenda, not dialogue -- and certainly not facts.

    Hmm. I'm going to append this to the original post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. They can spout as much spin as they want, and it's still spouting junk into the air. I don't like to bash people, but antivaxxers have a very holier-than-thou attitude. They're not interested in an honest conversation or even a friendly debate, they're just looking to tell you everything you're doing wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  6. bonuela6:56 AM

    i'm sure you got this from about a billion other folks, but i thought of you when i read it. especially since it mentions jenny mccarthy by name.

    http://tinyurl.com/2932oe9

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Bonuela,

    Probably more interesting than the fact that Ms. McCarthy is a Wakefield supporter is that, four days after the "elaborate fraud" Wakefield findings, she has yet to comment. I've written on the matter at BlogHer: http://www.blogher.com/elaborate-fraud-linking-autism-vaccines.

    ReplyDelete

Respectful disagreement encouraged.

Related Posts with Thumbnails